Flavor-of-the-Month. . . .Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

It's pumpkin season...better known as "the most wonderful time of the year." I ♥ pumpkin-y treats and can't wait to see what you all have come up with.

I decided to make something that's been on my "must make" list for a few years now...Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Actually, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Vanilla Bean-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling. Oh, yeah.

Guys...my house smelled SO incredibly delicious when these babies were baking. I almost called my neighbor to come over and smell my house, but I thought I might come off as a little wacky. Sooooo, I called my sister and described the smell to her over the phone (she already knows I'm wacky).

My point is, even if you don't care for pumpkin, make these and just SMELL!

How do they taste? Ummm...delicious. Have you ever eaten a yummy Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin? They are similar but 1,000 times better.

Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
{adapted from Martha Stewart & Baked cookbook}
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 2 c packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 3 c pumpkin puree, chilled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. {The measurements for the spices look like TOO MUCH ...they are correct.}

In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add the chilled pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined.

Add the flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.

Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism (about 1/8 cup if you don't have one...mine doesn't have a release mechanism), drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. (I got approx. 40 "cookies" to make 20 total pies.)

Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling
{doesn't vanilla bean paste make everything better?}
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and cinnamon; beat until smooth.

To assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and fit with a large round tip or snip the end.

When the cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.

One issue is that they must be refrigerated or they are way too messy to eat. After a day or two, the bottoms do get a little squishy. My friend, Paulie, suggested coating the pies in a glaze...like a Krispy Kreme donut. Any way to incorporate more sugar into a recipe sounds good to me. {Paulie is a very, very smart man!} If someone figures out how to do it, let me know! :)

Next month...Flavor-of-the-Month November theme will be.....
Share a recipe from your mom, dad, grandmother, mother-in-law or even a recipe that you'd like to start as a family tradition.

{As always, anyone is welcome to link to Flavor-of-the-Month; you don't have to ask. Click here to read through all of the previous posts for instructions.}

Ok, ready to link up? I'll keep the linky open through November 2nd, then close it to avoid spammers. Thanks for participating!!!

Last-Minute Candy Corn Cookies

I got Boo'd, y'all!

Does your neighborhood play this game? It's kind of like Secret Santa. Someone leaves a Halloween happy on your porch, you leave one for someone else, and so on.

Well, I was so excited to get Boo'd for the very first time!!! Someone likes me! ;) Yay!

Now, what to do for my BOO? Immediately, I thought of these Chocolate Candy Corn Cookies from Everyday Food (October 2004).

They are really simple and if you have candy corns, you probably have all the other ingredients on hand, too. If you need a quick Halloween treat, these are perfect.

The cookies are addicting! I'm not a huge fan of candy corn (unless mixed with peanuts), but in these cookies, they just add a perfect amount of chewiness. I promise, eat one and you'll go back for another.

Chocolate Candy Corn Cookies
{adapted from Everyday Food}

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c dutch-process cocoa (or regular unsweetened cocoa)
  • About 36 candy corns
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment.

Beat/stir the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in the egg yolk, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Add flour & cocoa, and mix until a dough forms.

Scoop out level teaspoons (a measuring teaspoon, not a cereal teaspoon) of dough, and place balls on baking sheets, 2 inches apart. (It looks like too little dough for each cookie, but it works.) Roll into balls.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and cookies are dry to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes.

{While these are baking, start going through the bag of candy corn to find 36 good ones. You'll want to work quickly when they come out of the oven and it is very frustrating to keep grabbing broken candy corns. Trust me on this.}

Remove from oven; gently press a candy corn into center of each cookie (surface of cookies may crack slightly). The candy corns will stick once the cookies heat them up..they seem like they will fall off at first, don't worry.

Cool on sheets 1 minute; transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make 32-36 cookies.

Tomorrow (the 31st) is Flavor-of-the-Month...Pumpkin!!!

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Creepy Coffin Cookies

Have you decorated Halloween cookies, yet? Let me show you some of my favorite spooky cookies...coffin cookies complete with skeletons!

These would also be perfect for Dia De Los Muertos! (Thank you for reminding me, AJ!)

This idea comes from Martha Stewart (like all good ideas). :)

The bones are made using Americolor Avocado, just a bit. The resulting color turns out to be a really cool pale ghostly green...like the color of something that is glow-in-the-dark, but not glowing. Anyone know what I mean?

To make them:

  • Pipe a coffin shape in black icing, using a #2 tip. (AmeriColor Super Black)
  • Thin black icing with water to a consistency of syrup. Cover with a damp towel and let sit several minutes.
  • Run a rubber spatula through the icing to pop air bubbles that have formed on top. Transfer to a squeeze bottle.

  • Fill in the coffins with the thinned black flood icing.
  • Let dry at least 1 hour.
  • Using a #2 tip and light green icing, pipe a skeleton shape on the coffins. (AmeriColor Avocado)

  • {I start with the hips...I don't know why.}

    {Next, the legs and feet.}

    {Head, backbone and tailbone(?)..any doctors in the house?}

    {The neck bone's connected to the shoulder bone, the shoulder bone's connected to the arm bone...}

    {..and the ribs.}

  • Using the the black piping icing and a #2 tip, make eyes and a mouth on the face.
  • Let the cookies dry overnight.

{You can even add a little sanding sugar on the bones if you'd like. I did a few this way last year, but decided I liked them better plain. Martha sparkled hers.}

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Icing Prep. . . .Works For Me Wednesday

My fear (one of them) when making cookies is that I'll forget to make icing in a color I need. I'll be halfway into decorating, only to realize...PINK, I NEEDED PINK!

To prevent that...here's the system that works for me...

First, I make a list of the cookies I'm making and what colors I'll need for each. Each color is marked "O" for outline or "F" for fill. (This night I was making 24 mustaches, 8 spiderwebs and 22 coffins.)

{If it's a new design, I'll sketch out the cookie first, labeling each area with a color. Like this.}

Now, I simply cut the list and place each strip in a bowl. (Big bowls for large amounts of icing, smaller for smaller...I guess that kinda goes without saying.) :)

Next, I make my royal icing. There...perfect.

I divide it first, covering each bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down into the icing to prevent drying and cracking. (Here, I knew I needed lots of black for outlining and filling. I divided all the icing for the other colors into bowls, then mixed the black into the remaining icing. This I put in two separate containers because I knew I needed a lot. Since I tinted it all in the big bowl, it was all the same shade. Does that make sense?)

Finally, the tinting is finished (I use AmeriColor Food Coloring which is available in bakery supply stores, online and brick & mortar, and also in my Amazon shop.)

From here, the icing is ready to use or refrigerate for later.

AND, I haven't forgotten a color! Yay!

Check out all of the other WFMW tips at We Are THAT Family. Also, if you haven't taken the Bake at 350 survey, click here!

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Spiderwebs, step-by-step

First, I love you guys!!! Thank you so much for taking the survey. If you haven't yet, there is still time.

Your comments are so helpful...and sweet...and FUNNY! I wish we could all get together for lunch...or margaritas!

Several people mentioned that step-by-step instructions with pictures would be helpful. While, I'm no Pioneer Woman (but wouldn't that be fun?), I will try! {Please note, I do a lot of decorating at night or early in the mornings, so the colors may be a little off.}

Alrighty...spiderweb cookies, step-by-step...

  • Outline a spiderweb shape in black royal icing using a #2 or #3 tip (AmeriColor Super Black).
  • Thin black, pink and orange icings with water to the consistency of thick syrup (AmeriColor Deep Pink or Electric Pink and Orange). Cover with a damp dishtowel and let sit several minutes.
{Here's what the thinned icing looks like after sitting several minutes. Yes, the it looks charcoal-y colored...it will darken. Read more here.}
{Gently run a silicone/rubber spatula through...it won't get all the bubbles, but most.}
  • Stir gently with a rubber spatula to pop any air bubbles that have formed on top. Transfer thinned icings to squeeze bottles.
  • Working 6 - 8 cookies at a time, fill in the outlines in black, using a toothpick to spread into corners.
  • On top of the wet black icing, pipe on the thinned pink and orange icings in alternating circles.
  • Drag a toothpick through the icing, starting at the middle, towards the points to make a spiderweb pattern.
  • Let dry at least one hour.
{So, now it's night and my camera is not liking the lighting. :) Sorry!}
  • Using piping consistency (non-thinned) icing , pipe spiders on the webs using a large plain tip for the bodies (such as a #7 or #12) and a #1 or #2 for the eight legs.
  • Let dry overnight.